The new Camaro was asked to pace the Indy 500 once again, but
none of the original engines had the power to do it, so the pace car was
outfitted with a highly modified 350 engine that wasn’t offered to the public.
The 1983 Camaro looked just like the ‘82 but there was a
mid-year engine change for the Z/28 to the ‘69 305 5.0 liter H.O.,
rated at 190 horsepower.
In 1984 the Camaro remained similar to previous models, the Z/28
L69 engine was improved, and Chevy dropped the Cross Fire Injected engine
because there was a new engine on the drawing boards. This was the first year
for the new 700R4 overdrive, automatic transmission because Chevy needed a
stronger transmission to harness the horsepower that was coming.
Things started changing for the better in 1985 when Chevy was
sponsoring the IROC races. The standard Camaros remained similar to the
previous years’ including the Z/28 Camaro. The top performance car in 1985 was
the IROC Z and it featured new graphics, a hood with large louvers and improved
ground effects. The IROC also featured new 16-inch five-spoke wheels, gator
back tires and a new Tuned Port Injected 305 engine delivering 215 horsepower.
The Tuned Port engine could only be ordered with the automatic transmission, due
to emissions restrictions. The popular IROC was hard to get in ‘85 because
production was low.
In 1986 the IROC became a good seller and the only visible
change was the location of the now mandated third brake light. It was installed
in a pod just above the rear hatch. The Camaro engine options remained the same
including the 215 horsepower IROC engine.
Some big changes started happening in 1987 with the introduction
of a convertible, the first in regular production since 1969. The IROC remained
a hot commodity with buyers and Chevy decided to make it even hotter with the
introduction of the new Tuned Port Injected 350 engine rated at 225 horsepower.
The four-cylinder engine was dropped due to lack of interest.
In 1988 Chevy dropped the Z/28 designation and used the IROC
package as the top performance option. The standard Camaro was now offered with
optional Z/28, five-spoke wheels and the ground effects package. The Z/28 170
horsepower engine was also optionally available. Chevy released a new
performance package for enthusiasts who were interested in road racing. The 1LE
package included the 305 and 350ci Tuned Port Injected engines, oversized
brakes, an aluminum drive shaft and improved suspension. It was built to win
showroom stock road races.
The ‘89 Camaro was very similar to the
‘88 but the RS (not Rally Sport) package was brought back and it was a trim
level that included improved wheels, ground effects, and a rear spoiler that
could be installed on the base Camaro. The IROC was still the top performance
package and continued to be until 1990 when Chevy dropped the sponsorship.
In 1991 Chevy brought the Z/28 back as the top performance model,
but Chevy enthusiasts were not happy about the loss of the IROC designation.
There was a new Camaro on the way, leaving the car essentially the same from
1991 to 1992.
The 1982 to 1992 Camaros made advancements in
engineering and performance; the start of good things to come. Enthusiasts
became very interested in cars that handled well and many companies were making
new shocks, sway bars and heavier springs for the early Camaros. These
improvements allowed the cars to be driven hard on the streets and even heavier
on the track. Brake fade on the track was inevitable with the original brakes
so Wilwood introduced several really nice brake improvement kits for the
Camaro. Enthusiasts running the original wheels and tires could order the
Forged Dynalite Pro Series Front Brake Kit, part number 140-11012. The kit
features the Forged Dynalite four-piston calipers in black, 11-inch rotors in
standard or drilled and slotted styles, hub assemblies, rotor adapters, caliper
brackets, BP-10 Smart Pads and all the hardware needed to finish the
installation. Enthusiasts with IROC Camaros that want superior stopping power
could order the Wilwood
Forged Dynalite Big Brake Kit, part number 140-11275. The kit features
Forged Dynalite Calipers in black and 12.19-inch rotors in standard or drilled
and slotted styles.
If you want rear brakes, you can outfit your
Camaro with a Forged
Dynalite Rear Parking Brake Kit, part number 140-7148. The kit features
Forged Dynalite four-piston calipers in a black or red finish. The calipers
work with 12.19-inch rotors that are available in a standard or drilled and
standard style and are designed for use with an internal drum parking brake
system. A larger rear brake is also available, the
Superlite 4R Big Brake Rear Brake Kit for OE Parking Brake, part number
140-9830. The kit features forged billet four-piston calipers in red or black
finish and work with the 12.88-inch rotors in slotted or drilled and slotted
styles. The superior Wilwood brakes work great for everyday use or they can be
used on the track for superior stopping power without brake fade.